There are many possible outcomes of managing child protection and safeguarding concerns. Each case will need to be considered to assess the most suitable outcome. Possible outcomes include the following options:
Safeguarding concerns should be recognised within disciplinary procedures and steps should be taken to ensure the procedures meet the requirements of all those involved in managing safeguarding concerns – including young people who may be involved in a range of different ways.
The job descriptions for the chair and members of the disciplinary panel, at all levels, should reference safeguarding knowledge or experience.
Organisations may refer matters to the National Safeguarding Panel (NSP) which may, by written agreement or specific rule reference, sit in place of the disciplinary panel of the organisation. The NSP provides a model set of disciplinary rules for use in child safeguarding matters.
Mediation services can provide an effective method of resolving safeguarding disputes which arise as a result of misunderstandings in communication and relationships. These types of situations do not lend themselves to the more formal or lengthy approach designed to manage complex or serious safeguarding concerns and cases.
A neutral mediator is appointed to facilitate the process and to assist the parties to reach a settlement agreement. In cases where settlement is not reached or turns out to be inappropriate, the parties can return to a more formal process.
Education and training
Some individuals would benefit from additional training and awareness raising to remind them of their safeguarding responsibilities and code of conduct.
Occasionally an individual is asked to attend a safeguarding course, or have individual tutoring on a specific aspect of safeguarding.
Alternatively, a mentor could be allocated to support and educate an individual.
It is important to consider how training, as an outcome of a concern, will be communicated to the individual concerned and to any tutor, and how the impact of the training will be assessed.
Allocating someone to monitor an individual is another way to address and continue to assess concerns. This may be built in as a way to assess the outcome of training, or when someone returns from suspension.
It is essential for this arrangement to be communicated to the individual concerned and the person monitoring them, as well as building in robust procedures for reporting concerns. The length of the monitoring arrangement should be fixed with a review built in.
Ongoing risk management
It should be recognised that safeguarding matters do not follow a neat pattern and often cases that have been dealt with need ongoing risk-management support.
For example, a disciplinary panel or tribunal may impose sanctions ranging from a suspension, restriction of activities, training, to mentoring or monitoring of behaviour, which need to be implemented by the sport and further risk managed.